For everyday use
Dual-port car chargers can meet most people’s daily-charging demands, and they will not take up too much space because of their moderate sizes. Both ports of ZMI 36W Dual USB Car Charger support Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging technology. Moreover, both ports are compatible with Apple 2.4A fast charge. When charging two devices simultaneously, it can deliver total 36W power to charge two QC 3.0 devices and 24W total output for two Apple devices. Therefore, it is a perfect car charger with fabulous charging performance with a surprising price of AED 49.99.
If you desire a smaller car charger, RAVPower 24W Dual Car Charger will be appealing to you. Its overall size is almost half of that of ZMI 36W Dual USB Car Charger, so it is pretty convenient to use in narrow space, and it can be put into your bag without adding any burden while traveling. Both the ports can deliver up to 2.4A output. It comes with half of the price and size of Anker PowerDrive 2 Ports, so we still pretty satisfied with it.
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RAVPower 54W 4-Port USB Car Charger can power up to four devices simultaneously. It has a QC 3.0 port and three iSmart ports. The QC 3.0 port supports QC 3.0 fast-charging technology while it is still well compatible with Apple 2.4A fast charging. And the other three iSmart ports also support Apple 2.4A fast charge. Even when it was at full load, the QC 3.0 port still triggered QC 3.0 fast-charging technology, and it outputted a total of 52W power in our test. If you need a four-port car charger with faster charging speed, it is a great choice.
When you travel on a full car, Aukey 4-Port Car Charger is so helpful for you and your families because it can charge four devices at once. It claims that each port can deliver 2.4A output and the four ports together can output a total of 9.6A charging speed. When charging four devices simultaneously, it delivered up to 45.23W total output, which meant that each port could reach at least 2A charging speed when charging four devices simultaneously. With a price of AED44.99, it is sparse as a four-port car charger.
Who should get this
Almost everyone carries smartphones, tablets, GPS or other USB-powered devices in their car. Thus, you deserve a great car charger to companion you while driving. Just plug it into your car’s 12V accessory outlets (cigarette lighter) and it can power up your multiple devices.
Even if your car has already come with a USB port or even two to synchronize your phone for music playback, it is still worthy to spend around AED 50 on a professional car charger. Because the USB-ports of most cars can just output about 1A charging current, they cannot fast charge your tablets or even your new phones, letting alone supporting QC 3.0 fast-charging technology.
Even if your car can output more than 1A charging speed, the number of ports may still not meet your needs of simultaneous charging for multiple devices and people. Like our picks, a dedicated car charger allows you to charge two or more devices from with a single accessory jack – your family and friends will be pleased of that.
A dedicated car charger allows you to charge two or more devices from a single accessory jack.
Similarly, if your USB charger was purchased a few years ago, the charging speed might only be 1A. Our picks for car charger can deliver 2.4A outputs or even support QC 3.0 fast-charging technology. This means that after upgrading you’ll get shorter charge times and stronger charging performances that you can charge your tablet or even other high-current devices on your car. The same thing applies if your car just has only one USB port. We live in a multi-device era, so it makes sense to have a charger with multiple USB-charging ports.
We live in a multi-device era, so it makes sense to have a charger with multiple USB-charging ports.
However, if your devices support USB Power Delivery fast-charging technology, unfortunately none of our picks supports PD technology yet. It is because the current PD car chargers tend to cost more. While our picks are fast enough, we don’t think it’s worth paying so much money to obtain the slightly faster charging speed. Of course, when we find out the reasonably priced PD car chargers, we will recommend them to you in our guide. Before that, you can pop over to our other guides about PD chargers and PD power banks.
How we picked and tested
How we picked
After searching on Taobao, Amazon, AliExpress, JD, and souq.com and other famous online shopping platforms, we found that USB car chargers become smaller, more powerful, and cheaper in the past few years but not all of them can do as great as they state and have enough power to fast charge multiple devices simultaneously. Therefore, in order to find USB car chargers that can suit most people and most devices, we purchased more than 21 car chargers for testing.
We bought 21 car chargers back to test.
We used the Anker PowerCore II 20000, which supports QC 3.0 fast charging technology, and the iPad mini 4, which supports Apple 2.4A fast charge, to test the charging speed of each car charger we purchased. (For car chargers that support only 2.1A output, we also used the iPad mini 4 to test because it is downward compatible with the 2.1A charge.)
Moreover, we tested the charging speed when these two devices were at low battery levels (below 10%) so that they could be fast charged at full speeds. In this way, we tested over and over again and recorded the output voltages, currents and powers of these two devices when using different car chargers to charge them separately and simultaneously, and then checked these records to see whether they can reach the numbers they state to deliver fast charges.
We used Anker PowerCore II 20000 and iPad mini 4 to test the charging speed of each car charger we purchased.
To determine whether a car charger lives up to its promise entails, we need to not only connect it to a phone and charge but also require special equipment to measure output and verify stated performance claims.
In the beginning, we took turns inserting the car chargers into the same accessory jack of the test car.
Then, we inserted power meter tester into the car chargers and connected it with the iPad mini 4 and Anker PowerCore II via a lightning cable and a Micro-USB cable.
We recorded the voltages, currents, and powers on the power meter tester of each port of each car charger.
We used the iPad mini 4 to test if each car charger supports Apple 2.4A fast charging.
Last but not least, we found it important whether the car chargers can keep securely in the accessory outlets (cigarette lighter), so the designs of the top spring and the side springs are pretty crucial. We weeded out the car chargers with the designs that the springs were too hard or too small, because, according to our tests, it could be tough to plug and unplug if they were too hard and they could not keep firm enough if they were too small.
Left: reasonable design Middle: springs are too small Right: springs are too hard
How we decided
We compared the size, shape, material, price, and testing result of each USB car charger. Although not all our picks come from famous brand, their charging performance and reliability satisfy us through testing and long-term usage. Based on testing results, we concluded the following points when choosing car chargers.
A great USB charger should have at least two USB ports, and each port needs to deliver at least 2.4A charging speed. If it supports QC 3.0 fast-charging technology, the QC0 ports need to reach 18W outputs.
The QC 3.0 ports also need to be compatible with Apple 2.1A /2.4A fast charge so as to meet the charge demands of both Android and Apple users.
We also expect a car charger to reach its rated charging speed. We will weed out car chargers whose charging speeds differ greatly from its specification.
Our four final picks.
Talk about Fast Charging
As the pace of life today is speeding up, charging becomes frequent and necessary. Fast charge does not mean to shorten the overall charging time by exact minutes but to supplement your devices as much power as possible in a short time. There are many fast-charging technologies on the market, such as Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, Apple 2.1A/2.4A fast charge, Huawei SCP or FCP, OPPO VOOC, the new USB Power Delivery, etc.
Everything you need to know about fast charging
In the direct current, Power (W) = Voltage (V) x Current (A). The charging speed actually depends on the power it can output, so the output power can be increased by increasing the current or the voltage it outputs. The fast-charging technologies whose output power boosts by the increase of current require high-level charging cables to burden the heavy currents. This means that their compatibilities are poor and their costs are relatively higher, so this kind of fast-charging technologies such as OPPO VOOC and Huawei SCP will have a lot of restrictions when using.
Therefore, we think the fast-charging technologies that achieve by increasing the voltages will be more practical than that of increasing the currents. However, the conversion rate will be reduced by about 10% of the electric energy, which will be converted into heat energy. This effect is not fatal. It is also the reason that many chargers or power banks will get heated while charging.
Most devices on the market are iPhones and Android phones, so the Apple 2.1A/2.4A fast charge and QC 3.0 fast-charging technology have better compatibility and practicability. Furthermore, QC 3.0 fast-charging technology is compatible with Huawei FCP.
Apple 2.4A fast charge
In terms of fast charging, Apple seems to be a little cautious. Apple increased the original 1A charging speed to 2.1A from iPhone 6. Newly released iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, iPhone X and some high-power iPad support 2.4A fast charge. Although Apple achieves the fast charging by increasing the current, regular cables can support at least 2.4A current that you do not need to purchase high-level charging cables to realize the fast charging.
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
QC 3.0 fast-charging technology has 5V⎓3A, 9V⎓2A, and 12V⎓1.5A three different levels and can reach 18W fast charging speed. It can fast charge Samsung S8 +, Google Pixel2, Xiaomi 6, HTC U11 and other popular Android devices.
USB Power Delivery
Undoubtably, USB PD fast charging will gradually become the mainstream. But currently, PD car chager from reputable brands are not that ubiquitous, and they tend to be pricey. Especially for the new iPhone (iPhone 8 and later models all support PD protocol), you still need to buy an Apple-official USB-C to Lightning cable to take advantage of PD fast charge, while such a cable sells for up to $19.00 (79 AED). Therefore, we still look forward to the further development of the whole industy, and expect to find out the affordable products with great performance in accord with our requirements.
For everyday use
Our Pick: ZMI 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0
Dual-port car chargers can meet most people’s daily-charging demands, and they will not take up too much space because of the moderate sizes. ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 is the best USB car charger for most people. Both the ports support Qualcomm QC 3.0 fast-charging technology to output up to 36W charging speed. Moreover, they are both compatible with Apple 2.4A fast charging. This means that this car charger can automatically identify your devices and best match the charging requirements for your devices.
ZMI car charger will not take up too much space because of the moderate sizes.
Smaller than other QC 3.0 car chargers
ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 uses copper as exterior material. The entire package is just 2.41 in (61.21mm) from the top to the end, and the diameter of the face is only 0.98 in (24.85mm).
In contrast, Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 Ports is also a two-port QC 3.0 car charger and has an overall length of 2.7 in (68.8mm) and a face diameter of 1.4 in (35.95mm). Therefore, ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 is small enough that it will not seem obtrusive in the jack.
A closer look at ZMI 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0.
A very thoughtful design
In addition, it is so thoughtful that the two USB ports are in the opposite directions while ports of most car charger are the same. At first, we did not deem this design is special but found it helpful when we actually used it. If you are driving and need to charge your device in an emergency, you know that there is always a port that allows you to plug into without reversing the interface of a cable.
ZMI car charger is always a port that allows you to plug into without reversing the interface of a cable.
Supports two fast-charging protocols
Once the devices are connected with the car charger, the charging will begin automatically. ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 can intelligently identify your devices to deliver the fastest possible charge. In our tests, when charging for Anker PowerCore II 20000, it delivered up to 18.36W massive power, which exceeded the 18W charging speed as it stated. Moreover, both the ports are compatible with Apple 2.4A fast charge.
ZMI car charger is charging the Anker PowerCore II 20000 reaching to 18.36W.
Simultaneously refuel two devices at full speed
In addition, when charging two devices simultaneously, the two ports respectively outputted 17.3W and 17.07W charging speeds, which meant that it could charge two QC 3.0 devices at full speed simultaneously. When charging for the iPad mini 4, each port reached 2.31A charging speed, which reached the fastest charging speed for most Apple devices.
ZMI car charger enables simultaneous fast charging for iPhone 7 Plus and iPad mini 4.
It will cost a lot even to get a single-port car charger that supports QC 3.0 fast-charging technology. Both the ports of ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 can not only charge the QC 3.0 devices at full speed but also deliver full speed charge for Apple devices. With the price of AED 49.99, ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 is a no-brainer.
Budget Pick: RAVPower 24W Dual-USB Smallest Car Charger
If you desire a smaller car charger, RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charger will be appealing to you. Moreover, if you do not have a QC 3.0 device, this car charger can definitely satisfy your charging demands. Both the ports support Apple 2.4A fast charge. Its overall size is almost half of that of our pick ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0, so it is pretty convenient to use in narrow space, and it can be put into your bag without adding any burden while traveling.
RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charger is about a coin size.
The smallest car charger we've ever seen
With a length of 1.8in (45.42mm), RAVPower 24W Dual Car Charger is very small and almost invisible. After plugging it into the cigarette lighter, it is barely protruded from the accessory jack and stays secure.
We tested many car chargers with similar sizes, and just this one can be removed from the outlets easily. Although it is not the smallest car charger that we have ever seen, some of the small car chargers are difficult to remove. The grooves on the edge of its face allow you to grasp and remove it from the jack easily.
The grooves on the edge of its face allow you to grasp and remove it from the jack easily.
Compact yet powerful
Both the ports support Apple 2.4A fast charge. In our tests, when charging for iPad mini 4, each port can reach 2.32A charging speed. The two ports could respectively output 1.89A and 1.93A charging speeds at full load while it stated that both of them can output 2.4A charge, but 1.9A charging speed is fast enough to charge your iPhone.
How does it compare with the popular Anker PowerDrive 2 Ports?
What’s more, among the 24W car chargers we tested, only Anker PowerDrive 2 Ports was faster than RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charger. When the two ports of Anker work simultaneously, they can put out 2.4A and 2.37A each. But we think the RAVPower’s charging speed is already fast enough, so it isn’t worth paying twice as much for the little faster speed.
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Our Pick: RAVPower 54W 4-Port USB Car Charger with QC 3.0
If you want to make full use of the fast-charging technologies to achieve faster charges for more devices, then RAVPower 54W 4-Port USB Car Charger is the best one out there. The QC 3.0 port supports QC 3.0 fast-charging technology while it is still well compatible with Apple 2.4A fast charge just like the other three iSmart ports. It outputted a total of 52W charging speed, which was pretty close to the 54W total power it stated, meaning that it could charge four devices at full speeds.
Once charging Anker PowerCore II 20000, iPad mini 4 and two iPhones.
Fairly premium aluminum alloy case
Unlike those plasticky car chargers, the matte finish of the RAVPower 54W 4-Port Car Charger can deliver you a delicate feel. It is only 2.97-inch (75.61mm) long, and it is smaller than Aukey 4-Port Car Charger, which is also recommended below. We found that the fit was very loose in some car models. If you tried to unplug any cords, it would easily pull the whole charger out of the socket.
Closer look at RAVPower 54W 4-Port USB Car Charger.
QC 3.0 & Apple 2.4A? With both support
Of course, its charging performance is powerful enough. In our tests, its green QC 3.0 port perfectly activated QC 3.0 to output 17.25W massive power. In addition, all four ports can support Apple 2.4A fast charge. When charging the iPad mini 4, the QC 3.0 port delivered 2.23A charging speed and the other three iSmart ports outputted 2.32A currents. This meant that all of the four ports could charge your Apple devices at full speed.
Huge total power output
During testing, even when it was at full load, the QC 3.0 port could still trigger QC 3.0 to output 16.53W charging speed, which was a great number. It outputted a total of 52W charging speed, which was pretty close to the 54W total power it stated, meaning that it could charge four devices at full speeds.
Budget Pick: Aukey CC-01 48W 4-Port USB Car Charger
As for people who want to charge more devices in a car and do not need QC 3.0 fast-charging technology, Aukey 4-Port Car Charger is good enough. All four ports can output 2.4A charge, and it can deliver up to 48W massive charging speed at full load. You can get a multi-port car charger with only a price of AED 44.99. It is pretty economical.
Aukey 4-Port Car Charger is bigger than our pick RAVPower 54W 4-Port Car Charger, but it is still compact. It has a matte finish for its plastic exterior, and it is only 3.7-inch (93.9mm) long.
Aukey 4-Port Car Charger protrudes slightly from the cigarette lighter, though, it won’t take up too much space in your car.
No compromise on charging performance
Though it costs lower than the regular 4-port car chargers, there’s barely any trade-off in its charging performance. Its four ports all support 2.4A output. In the single-port testing, it was able to charge an iPad mini 4 at 2.25A, which is a nifty charging speed, even beating many pricier products.
A closer look at Aukey 4-Port Car Charger.
How does it compare with the popular Anker 4-Port Car Charger?
It does a capable job in full-load charging, without disappointing us. When simultaneously charging four devices, it put out up to 45.23W, nearly equivalent to the rated 48W. Given the internal resistance and energy conversion, it’s fair to say that it’s an ideal full-load speed. Compared to the 4-port 48W Anker 4 Port Car Charger, the Aukey has the same charging performance but sells for half the price of the Anker.
Aukey 4-Port Car Charger is charging four devices simultaneously.
For everyday use
Aukey CC-S5 Dual-Port Car Charger with AiPower: It was one of the smallest car chargers in all the products we tested, but it was the product we gave up the most quickly. In the tests, we found the two side springs are too hard. Even we tested it in three different cars and used different accessory outlets, but we still could not plug it into any jacks to test it.
Aukey CC-S1 Dual-Port Car Charger: It was very similar to Aukey CC-S5, which was very hard to be plugged into the cigarette lighter in a car. Thus, it soon became a product that we gave up.
Aukey CC-T8 Dual Port Car Charger with Quick Charge 3.0: What makes it stand out is that both the two ports support QC 3.0 fast-charging technology. In our tests, each port outputted 17.58W charging speed, which triggered QC 3.0 fast-charging technology. It reached a total of 16.39W charging speed at full load, which was not as fast as our pick ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0. In addition, it is more expensive than ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0.
Aukey CC-T7 Dual Port Car Charger with Quick Charge 3.0: In our tests, the QC 3.0 port outputted 17.58W charging speed, which triggered QC 3.0 fast-charging technology. However, the other port only reached 12.01W output, which did not meet the 5V⎓3A charging speed as it stated. Nevertheless, both the ports of ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 have better charge performance, since they support QC 3.0 and 2.4A fast charge.
RAVPower RP-VC007 QC 3.0+ iSmart Dual-Port Car Charger: It has a nice look and two charging ports to satisfy most people’s charging demands. In our tests, the QC 3.0 port outputted up to 16.79W power and the iSmart port outputted 11.1W charging speed. Thus, the two ports could fast charge your devices as it stated. To this regard, we must admit that RAVPower is a manufacturer of excellent quality control. However, in terms of price, this car charger does not have too many advantages when comparing with ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0, whose price is even 10% lower.
Xiaomi 3.4A 2-Port Car Charger: Both the ports support Apple 2.4A fast charge. In the tests of charging iPad mini 4, the two ports reached 2.4A and 2.32A outputs respectively. However, it only has 3.4A (17W) total output. When using it to charge two phones simultaneously, the charging speeds will be limited while our pick ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 and budget pick RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charger will not.
CRDC CC-S8 Halo Dual Port Car Charger: It outputted up to 2.4A charging speed when using a single port. It outputted 3.4A (17W) charging speed when charging simultaneously. However, our budget pick RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charge can output 4.8A 24W charging speed with a smaller size and lower price.
Tronsmart C24 Dual-Port USB Car Charger: It states that each port can deliver 2.4A charging speed and a total of 4.8A output. After testing, each port just outputted 1A charging speed, and two ports together only outputted a total of 2A charging speed. The same thing happened when we tested it in the other four different cars. Thus, we had to give it up.
Tronsmart CC2TF 26W QC 3.0 Dual-Port Car Charger: It has great charging performance. In our test of charging QC devices, each port outputted 17.62W charging speed, and the two ports outputted 22.08W and 17.62W when charging simultaneously. It shocked us a lot. Notwithstanding, in our test of charging Apple devices, each port just outputted 2.16A charging speed. Thus, we still think ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 is better since its charging performance is good enough and has just half the price and the size.
Anker PowerDrive 2 Ports: Just like RAVPower 24W Smallest Dual Car Charger, each port can deliver 2.4A charging speed and two ports together can output 4.8A current. In our test, the two ports did output 2.4A and 2.37A charging speeds when charging simultaneously. However, you need to pay twice more to get it.
Anker PowerDrive+ 2: It is the largest and heaviest car charger in all dual-port car chargers we tested. It has a QC 3.0 port and a 2.4A port. In our tests, the QC 3.0 ports outputted 17.16W charging speed for QC devices but just output 1A charging speed for Apple devices. The 2.4A port could charge Apple devices at full speed. However, it has twice the size and three times the price of ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0, which even charges your devices much faster.
Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 Ports: In our tests, when charging two devices at once, it could output 17.36W and 22.21W charging speed which exceeded the 18W charging speed as it stated. Although it is great, it is too expensive with a price of AED169.
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Xiaomi QC 3.0 Type-C 3-Port Car Charger: It also offers a Type-C port and two QC 3.0 ports. In our tests, the two QC 3.0 ports respectively outputted 18.27W and 18.21W charging speeds, which satisfied us at first. However, when the two ports charging simultaneously, the two QC 3.0 ports could respectively output 17.04W and 17.05W charging speed. Unfortunately, the Type-C port can just slowly charge your laptops with 15W charging speed, which is not fast enough since regular laptops need 45W charging speed. In our tests of charging Apple devices, it outputted only 2.1A charging speed while ZMI PowerCruise C2 36W Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0 support 2.4A output.
Tronsmart C3PTA QC 3.0 3-Port Car Charger: It comes with one QC 3.0 port and two 2.4A ports, so it can satisfy charging demands of both QC devices and Apple devices. In our tests, the QC 3.0 port delivered 17.27W power for QC devices, and the two 2.4A port outputted 2A and 2.1A charging speeds for Apple devices. It could not charge our devices as fast as it stated.
Aukey CC-T11 3-Port Car Charger with Quick Charge 3.0: It has three QC 3.0 ports and two 2.4A ports. In our tests, each QC 3.0 port delivered 17.2W charging speed, and the two 2.4A ports outputted 2.1A and 2.21A charging speeds. It cannot charge your devices as fast as it states.
Aukey CC-Y3 3-Port Car Charger: It supports QC 3.0 fast charging and Apple 2.4A fast charging. However, compared to RAVPower RP-VC003 in our pick, it has only three output ports. Thus, we think RAVPower which adds one more output port can meet more people’s charging needs.
Anker PowerDrive+ 3 Ports: It is a 3-port version of Anker PowerDrive + 2 Ports with the same charging performance. It states it can output a total of 7.2A charging speed and 2.4A charging speed for each port. In our tests, each port reached 2.32A charging speed, and the three ports together can deliver 2.3A, 2.2A and 2.05A charging speeds, which are great charging speed. However, the price is as high as AED169, so we do not select it as our pick.